US news outlet CNN saw three of its reporters resign on Monday over a retracted Russia story relating to a pre-inaugural meeting between Anthony Scaramucci, one of US president Donald Trump’s transition team officials and the head of a Russian investment fund.
Thomas Frank, a reporter for “CNN Investigates,” who wrote the article, Eric Lichtblau, an assistant managing editor in CNN’s Washington bureau who edited the article, and Lex Harris, head of CNN‘s investigations unit, were all forced to resign.
“The individuals all stated that they accepted responsibility and wanted to resign,” a CNN source told the Washington Post.
Trump wrote on Twitter:
Wow, CNN had to retract big story on ‘Russia,’ with 3 employees forced to resign. What about all the other phony stories they do? FAKE NEWS!
The president then retweeted a tweet, which changed the CNN logo to read “FNN: Fake News Network”.
The CNN article was posted on the network’s website on Thursday and was removed by Friday night.
CNN apologised to Anthony Scaramucci and in an official statement said:
The story did not meet CNN’s editorial standards and has been retracted.
Following the retraction, Scaramucci tweeted that CNN “did the right thing. Classy move. Apology accepted. Everyone makes mistakes. Moving on.”
However, Trump’s family members were less forgiving.
Donald Trump Jr, the president’s eldest son, tweeted:
Hahahahaha, CNN has standards??? More #fakenews defaming my friend @Scaramucci.
“There was a significant breakdown in process,” a CNN source told the Washington Post. “There were editorial checks and balances within the organization that weren’t met.”
Earlier this week, FBI agents questioned former Trump campaign adviser Carter Page about his contacts with Russians and his interactions with the Trump campaign.